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Twenty gold medals will be at stake tomorrow with the Philippine contingent banking on the Filipino jins in a bid to get to the medal column right in the initial blast of hostilities in the Jakarta meet gathering 15,000 athletes and sports officials in the region.
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272 Filipino bets ready for war in 18th Asian Games
Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - August 18, 2018 - 12:00am

Philippines hoping to medal in initial blast of Asiad action

JAKARTA – Philippine sports officials hope the swashbuckling opening-game victory by the national quintet will serve as an inspiration for the rest of the Filipino athletes as they start their quests for precious mints the day after curtains finally go up in the 18th Asian Games here tonight.

Twenty gold medals will be at stake tomorrow with the Philippine contingent banking on the Filipino jins in a bid to get to the medal column right in the initial blast of hostilities in the Jakarta meet gathering 15,000 athletes and sports officials in the region.

Gilas Pilipinas ripped apart Kazakhstan, 96-59, in a rousing debut in men’s basketball competition, providing an early morale boost and momentum for Team Phl ahead of the opening rites set at 7 p.m. (8 p.m. in Manila) tonight at the 75,000-seater Gelaro Bung Karno Sports Complex.

Fil-Am NBA player Jordan Clarkson missed the Phl-Kazakh match but will lead the Philippine delegation during the march-past of 45 competing nations estimated to last an hour.

The Phl volleybelles, among the darlings of the Phl contingent, arrived in the Indonesian capital yesterday and will be among the country’s representatives in the parade to be watched by a number of heads of states and dignitaries from the gallery, and billions of Asian sporting fans on television.

Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez, the actor/multi-athlete who is Phl chef de mission in this meet, will be among those marching behind the Phl flag bearer.

Each of the 272 Filipino athletes here is raring to respond to President Duterte’s challenge “to do your best and do it fair and square” during the send-off ceremony at Malacañang Palace.

But, first, they join athletes from the other nations in a gathering of Asian sports stars in the 18th Asian Games inaugurals in what’s expected to be a colossal ceremony to show the world Indonesia is a big country capable of hosting a big international event.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is announcing to the world that Indonesia is advancing and will “elevate its name in the international community in the Asiad inaugurals set a day after the country’s 73rd Independence Day.

It will be a night of colors, artistry and music with the organizers lining up an array of renowned Indonesian singers to perform in what promises to be a spectacular stage, one of the largest of its kind.

Among the performers are internationally recognized Indonesian artists in Raisa, Tulus, Edo Kondologit, Putri Ayu, Fatin, GAC, Kamasean and Via Vallen in the second Asiad held here.

In 1962, Indonesia hosted the fourth edition of the quadrennial games where then President Soekarno declared the Games open at the same sprawling Gelora Bong Karno Stadium.

The Asiad then featured only 13 events participated in by 1,460 athletes from 17 nations.

Now, Indonesia is hosting the biggest ever Asian Games in terms of participation with a logo “Energy of Asia” depicting the “strengthening spirit of the games, participated in by multicultural nations shining for all the world to see.”

In addition, the 18th Asian Games brings together Asian countries together as a unified contingent.

There’s the unified team of South and North Korea women’s football, exemplifying the games’ promotion of peace and harmony in the region.

18TH ASIAN GAMES JORDAN CLARKSON
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